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Rose Hiscock to deliver Stephen Murray-Smith Memorial Lecture on art, science and design in a post-COVID world

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Museum director, cultural leader and science advocate Rose Hiscock will deliver the 2021 Stephen Murray-Smith Memorial Lecture, titled ‘Why we need to tear down the borders between science, design and art in a post-COVID world’, on Thursday 28 October. The event will be hosted online by State Library Victoria.

In her provocative and insightful lecture, Ms Hiscock will argue that the events of the last 18 months have demonstrated the role of science, data and evidence in our daily lives, and that we must dissolve the barriers between art, design and science in response.

“As we have learnt to read data and become attuned to global trends, we have reframed our way of experiencing the world,” Ms Hiscock said.

“Within this reframed world, universities and scientists provide an essential service as creators of knowledge, while museums, galleries and cultural institutions have a vital role to play in translating that knowledge for public audiences.”

Ms Hiscock will draw on her leadership experience as a director of cultural, scientific and educational institutions to argue that cultural bodies have a responsibility to lean into their role as trusted institutions.

“As we face unprecedented global events such as the pandemic and climate crisis, this is the time for the cultural sector to mobilise our collective power. We have an urgent responsibility to communicate evidence-based information to mass audiences.”

Ms Hiscock is currently Director, Museums & Collections, at The University of Melbourne, and has worked as director of Science Gallery Melbourne, The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum), Sydney, and as Executive Director of Arts Development for the Australia Council for the Arts.

The annual lecture commemorates the contribution of Stephen Murray-Smith to Australian intellectual life and promotes research and debate on the topics that impact us socially, culturally and politically.

State Library Victoria has recently acquired the journals of Stephen Murray-Smith which provide invaluable insight into the vibrancy of cultural life in Victoria in the mid-to-late twentieth-century. They will be discoverable via the Library’s catalogue from mid-2022.

Ms Hiscock’s lecture will air online via the State Library Victoria website on Thursday 28 October at 6.30pm. The event is free to attend but bookings are essential.

Book via the Library’s website.

-ENDS-

About State Library Victoria
Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. As the custodian of Victoria’s history, each year the library adds more than 70,000 physical and digital items to its rich collection of articles, artworks, photographs, manuscripts, books, journals, artefacts and much more. In 2021, the Library launched a new membership program offering tailored benefits to families, students and culture lovers alongside its flagship free Access membership.